Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Desire : What desireth thou?
1 Nephi 11:1-22
All of us have desire. The question is what do we desire? How does what we desire affect our belief in God? What is the connection between what we desire, what we believe and what we know? How does this relate to our family?
(Words and Phrases)
ponder in mine heart (vs. 1)- Nephi desired to know what his father knew. He believed all that his father expounded to him concerning "the dream". He took his desire, added it to his belief and began to "ponder in his heart". He meditated, prayed, and thought deeply about all that he had been told. He loved his father and he recognized the love of God within his father and within his father's words.
DESIRE + BELIEF+ (PONDERING) = KNOWLEDGE
what desireth thou? (vs. 2) Over fifty years ago, my father had a desire to know God. The dark and dreary world had left him in dire circumstances, and he recognized that he needed God's love in his life. My grandmother had taught him of God. He believed in God. He took this belief coupled it with his desire and he asked God. He received his "vision" (answer) that opened up a new way of life for my father. As he followed that answer and learned to listen to the gift of the Holy Ghost, this particular desire changed his life.
His desire changed my life. I (like Nephi) desire to know all that my father knows, to believe the scriptures as he understands them, and to learn with the same power of the Holy Ghost that radiates so beautifully from his voice, his words, and his life.
He set a path for me, for my children, for his family. He set a path filled with the joy of God's love (vs. 22) when his desire spurred his belief to ponder a greater gift.
"thou shalt behold" the thing which thou desireth (vs. 6) God loves us. He has promised us if we will ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, he will manifest the truth of his love unto us. Nephi asked and he will receive (the next 4 chapters )of God's truth.
We all have our own personal "visions" of truth that are connected to our desires. Weather the truth we seek is of a spiritual, scientific, personal or political nature, it does not matter. God knows all things. He can help us discover what we seek.
I think that Nephi's formula has been used and known by many great men (not just prophets).
I think of the Wright Brothers and their desire to fly. They desired to fly + they believed they could fly + they pondered (studied) how they could fly + they asked God and all of their errors to help them learn the rules of flight + then they listened to the answers that came both in the whisperings of their minds, the experience and science of their experiments, and the power of their belief.
desire + believe+ ask+ study(ponder) + listen = success and learning of knowledge
Be careful what you pray for. Know your desires. Know your beliefs. Know your God.
to know the interpretation (vs. 11) - We don't always get what we are taught the first time. After Nephi saw the "tree of life" he said "I believe it is precious above all" (vs. 9) Nephi understood that what he saw was special. He knew what it did to his soul. But he also understood that he didn't understand.
When the angel asked a second time what he desired, he said to know what it means? The tree of life as we learn in vs. 22 represents the "love of God". This is why before explaining this to Nephi he took time to show Nephi the birth of Christ through his virgin mother Mary.
It is a great gift to understand that the love of God is "most desirable above all things".
I believe that when we desire... to have the love of God.... as the foremost desire in our life... everything else falls into place.
the most joyous to the soul (vs 22)-
When I was a young girl my father taught me of his beliefs. He taught me of his conversion and how God opened up "his mind" and took away the clouds of disbelief. He taught me how to read the scriptures and liken them to myself. He taught me to write things of great importance and to let God's love flow through me. He shared with me how the Holy Ghost inspired him, giving him hope and new ideas to help him solve his problems.
As I grew the desire to do and experience all that I have seen my father experiences grew in me. Like Nephi I recognized the love of God within my father's words. I desired to not only accept his belief as his belief but to make it my own.
Today I have a testimony of God's love. His love has carried me.....Because I desired to know. Because I believed in God.... because I pondered.... and studied... and put it to the test. I experimented with God's word and learned not only of God's love for me, but of its truth.
Life is rich with good things to know. There are many things in life that we can desire. God will answer all of our prayers and help us learn to desire for the good and wise things.
If we desire to become a doctor we set our life on a course to become a doctor believing that one day we will be a doctor. If we (like the Wright Brothers) have a desire to fly (or whatever has not yet been done) we need only to believe, to study, to ponder, and to ask for truth.
As great as the mysteries are amidst the fields of science, there is no greater mystery than to personally discover the Joy of God's love as it opens up our personal vision to a life filled with righteous desire.